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Webb hosts Artist-in-Residence


Seattle-based artist Jeffry Mitchell visited Webb School of Knoxville this fall, working with students as part of the school’s Artist-In-Residence Program.

Mitchell has had more than 30 solo exhibitions, nationally and abroad, including shows in Nagoya, Japan; Vancouver, Canada; Los Angeles and New York City. He has been a visiting artist/lecturer at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design in Vancouver, the University of Colorado, Rhode Island School of Design, Harvard University, University of Washington School of Art and the Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia. His work is in the public collections of the Fogg Art Museum at Harvard University; University of Alaska; Microsoft; Museum of Fine Arts in Boston; New York Public Library; Philadelphia Art Museum; Portland Art Museum and Seattle Art Museum.

While Mitchell works in a variety of media, he said that ceramics continue to be his favorite.

“I like ceramics because of its connection to folk and decorative arts, two major influences on my work,” he added.

During his tenure at Webb he used his preference for ceramics to carry out a project, an “underwater city,” with Lower School art teacher Brad Cantrell and his second- and third-grade students. Students have created miniature buildings, fish-like automobiles and other figures out of clay, which will be glazed, fired and placed in Mr. Cantrell’s large aquarium and other aquariums in Lower School classes.

He also has been working with Middle and Upper School students, demonstrating different art techniques, as well as providing advice and critiques on student work.

Despite claiming to have little teaching experience with young students, Mitchell is a natural, according to Webb art faculty members.

“Jeffry is so engaged with the world,” Upper School art teacher Margie Luttrell said. “Not only is he a prolific artist who has a wonderful vision, but also he is so open about sharing it with students. My A-P Studio students [were] so happy to see him every day. He always [had] something relevant and constructive to say about their work, and he has such a positive personality and easygoing demeanor.”

Middle School art teacher Noel Redmon agrees.

“Jeffry’s fresh approach with the students’ thoughts and ideas allow everyone an uninhibited freedom to create,” Redmon said.

Mitchell said he has been very impressed with Webb School’s arts facilities and arts curriculum, as well as the Artist-In-Residence Program.

“The fact that a school would bring in working artists and have them be in this environment for a month or so shows a respect for art as a serious endeavor. I think it’s great that Webb School has that kind of respect and regard for working artists,” he said.

Webb’s Artist-In-Residence Program is a four- to six-week, on-campus teaching and learning experience for Webb students, featuring nationally and internationally acclaimed ar-tists.

The program, which takes place every fall and spring, provides students with a view into the real world of art by exposing them to professional artists and inspires them to explore their own creative abilities.

 

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